I Am Firmly Against the Death Penalty (A response to Prager U)

Our favorite conservative “think tank” has come out with yet-another video where they blatantly miss the point of an issue while trying to sound super smart, and somehow these people have a ton of defenders.  I will never understand that.  As in never, at any point in time.  How a conservative group dedicated towards “education” can make videos on such relevant topics as why people don’t like saying Merry Christmas, or why belief in God is actually the best thing for America, or the ever-popular God showing that murder is wrong.  Yeah, that’s totally not contradicted by the Bible.  Nope, not at all.

Now they have decided to come out and say that the death penalty is a-okay!  I’m sure this guy considers himself “pro-life” too.  Of course he does.  If these people weren’t bleeding hypocrites, they’d be nothing at all.  Dennis Prager comes out and say that the death penalty is not only right, it’s moral.  Let’s take a look at this bullshit.

Prager begins by saying that there are almost no issues where he doesn’t understand both sides.  Dennis, there are a TON of issues that you don’t understand both sides on.  I linked three of them above.  Your inability to understand the most basic of counterarguments that people make is quite something.  But it seems that when it comes to the death penalty, Prager has an unbridgeable gap that he cannot reconcile with the left on.  He wants us to make sure he knows that he thinks not every murderer should be killed, but he believes there is a moral imperative that they should not be.  Okay, Dennis, let’s hear your reasoning.

He goes through a story, and yeah, it’s awful.  The two people he talked about are terrible people.  But, Dennis, this isn’t about your anecdotes about horrible people.  There are a TON of truly horrifying stories that I can tell about murders that go far beyond two guys and one crime.  He says that the people opposed to the death penalty in this instance are saying they deserve to live.  It’s not that, Dennis.

What people like myself are saying when we say that we oppose the death penalty isn’t that people like these two scum-fucks deserve to live.  It’s that we do not believe that if our government is going to say that we believe in the rule of law, and that murder is wrong (two things I wholeheartedly do believe), then we can’t have a government coming in and saying that we should have no issue killing other people.  What those two men did was deplorable.  They are awful people and I have no problem locking them in jail and throwing away the fucking key.  But it is ethical hypocrisy for us to be able to say that we are a moral nation that has an ethical standard, and then fail to live up to that standard.  I’m sorry, but that’s wrong.

He goes on to say that people like me are saying that these people don’t deserve to die.  I’m not saying that all, Dennis.  I’m saying that our country is a nation of hypocrites if we decide to kill these two people and then turning around and saying that murder is wrong.  It’s not that complicated.  This is what I hate about Prager.  He can’t do ethical arguments.  The whole reason he told this story with the background going all back and dark images meant to conjure dark images in the mind was to get past the critical thinking part of your mind and get to the part that wants justice.  The part that wants blood for blood.  Those two men he described are disgusting people.  I don’t care if they get butt-raped in prison.  But I am able to look past the emotional side and see to the side that says that if we are going to be the kinds of people who ignore our own standard, then we might as well just not have that standard at all.

Let me give you a counter-example, Dennis.  Say those two men do what you described, and I just happened to be there with a loaded .44.  I blow their disgusting fucking brains out for what they did.  I apparently wasn’t there in time to stop them from doing it, but I am there in time to kill them as they are trying to escape or something like that.  What would happen to me?  I’d be tried for second degree murder.  Maybe I could make the argument that I was trying to save the life of the father who you never said if he lived or died.  But if they are no longer a threat and are fleeing, then I killed two people in cold blood.  I’d be found guilty.  Maybe my defense lawyer could do what you’re trying to do and maybe that would work, but probably not.  Because at least one person would see that I took the law into my own hands.

By your standard, I did nothing wrong.  Those two men are disgusting people and they don’t deserve to live.  So then why should I not be potentially found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder and potentially sentenced to death and they should.  What’s the line between them and what would be me?  Where do you draw that line?

Your first example is pretty much on point with what I just said as to what people like me believe.  Bravo.  But your second example is fucking stupid.  I just said that I don’t care about the value of human life in respect to those two pieces of shit.  Fuck them.  This is purely a standard of ethics and a refusal to be a hypocrite.

Prager then says one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard – that sparing murderers belittles the act of murder.  How?  They’ll be in jail for the rest of their lives.  For all the crimes they are guilty of, those two are never going to breathe free air again.  I have protected the public by locking them away, if I’m on that jury.  I’m dying to hear how keeping murderers alive somehow belittles the act of murder.  Does sending a rapist to jail belittle the act of rape?  SJWs calling everything under the sun sure does, but when the police arrest someone and they are found guilty in a court of law and they are on the sex offender registry for the rest of the lives, that sure as fuck doesn’t sound like it belittles that.  That person will likely never hold a good job, likely never have a stable relationship, and likely never have a good home because plenty of good neighborhoods have laws about sexual predators living there.  Some places have it where if you are on the sexual offender registry, you have to go door to door and tell people that.  Effectively killing any chance of you integrating successfully into that neighborhood.  I’m not seeing your point here.

It’s easily proven, he says.  This should be good.  He argument is the biggest non-sequitur I’ve ever seen.  Saying that murderers shouldn’t be killed is the same as making murder have the same punishment as…a speeding ticket?  The fuck?!  One of these things is not like the other.  By putting a murderer in jail for the rest of their life, or for the vast portion of it, you are effectively removing that person from the rest of society.  They can no longer present a danger to anyone.  How is that belittling it.  We recognize this person as a serious danger, and so they will be removed from society for the vast portion of their life, if not all of it.  The two gentlemen he described, if found guilty, their parole officer doesn’t exist.  For four (potentially, we don’t know if the father lived or died) counts of murder and two (or three?) counts of sexual assault, these men are never getting out of jail.  Ever.  How was murder belittled?  All ears, Dennis.

Then we get the “what about the loved ones?” argument.  Oh Groj.  Yeah, and what about the loved ones of the people who are killed by the state?  This makes for a nice segway into another argument against the death penalty – what about the loved ones of people killed for crimes they didn’t commit?  Like that dad in Texas who was killed because he was found guilty of murdering his daughter, when it was found out later that she actually was ripped up by the family dog, and the cuts the investigators believed were knife wounds were from the surgeons trying to stop the bleeding.  What about that man’s loved ones?  He was sentenced to death for a crime he did not commit, and it’s only after he is already dead that he is exonerated.  What about those people?!  Where’s their justice?  In my eyes, if we kill one innocent person as part of your “moral” imperative for the death penalty, that’s one person too many.

He says that the families are angry and hurt because that person isn’t dead.  Sure.  Of course they are.  But here’s the thing, Dennis – justice isn’t about that.  It isn’t about emotional satisfaction.  If that were the case, shouldn’t the victims of rape be allowed to rip off the genitals of the person who raped them?  What about the woman who kept teenage girls in her basement as sex slaves?  What should they be allowed to do to her?  The justice system is about doling out punishments that fit, based on what the person did.  I’m sorry that the person in front of that headstone is sad.  It sucks.  I’ve lost someone I loved to a fucking idiot who is going to be getting out of prison in the not too distant future.  But he served his time and that’s that.

Then he make a strawman argument saying that if I think the Dr who I guess did live at the end of this saying that the people who did this should die, I think he’s immoral.  I don’t think that.  What I think is that he is being government by his anger, and not seeing that the law isn’t about making him feel good.  If that were the case, punishments for all sorts of crimes would be infinitely worse.  The law is about removing dangerous elements from society, and about providing rehabilitation for those who can be rehabilitated.  Granted, with the piss-poor quality of American prisons, that’s not happening.  Gotta love the private prison system and the drug war.  But some people can’t be rehabilitated, and they have to go away forever for the safety of the public.  I’m sorry the doctor is angry.  I really am.  What happened to him is awful.  But his anger doesn’t dictate the nature of the law and how punishment is supposed to work.

And then we get another strawman of those who made the argument I did about those who are innocent and get killed, saying that we oppose it even when evidence is absolute.  Dennis, that’s not the fucking point!  The point is that one innocent person being killed by this law that you say is so justice is one too many!  For a guy who says that he sees both sides of an argument, you sure are missing the point on this one.  Huh, maybe it’s because his notion of seeing both sides is bullshit.

Prager then makes the argument that by keeping murderers alive in prison, they get to kill more people in prison.  Hey Dennis, I don’t know if you knew this, but a fuck-ton more people get killed in prison when gang violence in the streets comes inside.  America’s prison system is so fucked because of the drug war, and the drug war comes inside and that is where so much more prison murder comes from.

That’s all of the major arguments.  After that it’s just him reiterating his old points. My point stands – if we are going to say that we say that murder is wrong (which I most-assuredly do) and that we are a nation that respects the rule of law (which I try to believe, though until all cops are forced to wear cameras), then we cannot kill another person while saying that killing is wrong.  Mama didn’t raise no hypocrite.

Until next time, a quote,

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” – H.L. Mencken

Peace out,

Maverick

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s